TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Florida is the number one state in the country for parent empowerment, according to the Center for Education Reform’s Parent Power! Index. In addition, Florida also ranked number one in the nation on the Heritage Foundation Education Freedom report card.
“Parental involvement is important to a child’s success both in school and in life, and in Florida, we are proud to protect parents’ right to be involved in a child’s education,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This recognition continues to show that Florida is a national leader in school choice, parent empowerment, and education as a whole.”
The Center for Education Reform ranked each state using three criteria: choice programs, charter schools, and innovation. Overall, Florida scored 94.6 percent, surpassing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Florida’s Rankings by Category:
#1 in the nation for choice programs
#1 in the nation for digital and personalized learning
#2 in the nation for charter schools
#3 in the nation for teacher quality
“Florida will always protect the right of parents to raise their children how they best see fit,” said Department of Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr.
Florida also received high scores for leadership, COVID-19 response, and transparency. “In 2020, when public school districts were on lockdown, Governor DeSantis called on Florida’s charter schools to reopen in-person instruction,” Chris Moya, Education Policy Expert and Director of Management and Consulting at DeanMead told The Florida Standard.
“When parents realized that other education options were available, such as charter and private schools, they were empowered to make those decisions with the full support of the governor and the State Board of Education,” Moya added.
The annual Parent Power! Index debuted in 1999. The ranking measures the extent to which states have policies that put students first, value every family's unique needs, and empower parents to oversee their child’s education.
NUMBER ONE IN SCHOOL CHOICE
In September, the Heritage Foundation released an inaugural edition of its Education Freedom report card, ranking Florida as the top state across the board for families looking for a state that embraces education freedom, respects parents’ rights, and provides a decent ROI for taxpayers.
Nearly half of Florida students have chosen an educational option outside of their zoned traditional public school, such as open enrollment, Family Empowerment Scholarships, charter schools, virtual education, and education savings accounts.